Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Hometown loveliness

I was recently home for an extended visit, and there is much to share, much of it relatively mundane.  However, those who know me, know that I find the mundane delightful. While I am happily not homesick living in London, there are so many things I do miss about home, and Hamilton, not the least of which are friends and family. It is a bit of an old chestnut, but it is the little things you miss most, such as checking on the progress of the vegetable garden in spring - where in my mother's garden, the cherry tree is in bloom, and rhubarb is ready for picking, and making into little galettes!

 The rhubarb tarts were my contribution to a lovely gathering with friends which served as farewell party to Jenna, a member of the Beehive who is leaving us for an exciting life in the country. Inevitably, we always end up eating a lot of cheese at such gatherings, but no one ever complains about this. We were hoping for a picnic, and though the weather did not favour us, I think we did pretty well indoors! A particular highlight:  manchego cheese paired with Hollie's preserved apricots!

I was happy to be able to drop by craft night at Needlework, two of my dear fellow Bees new business venture, a sew-by-the-hour fabric shop.  With the place was buzzing all evening long, with people working on their projects, Needlework is fast becoming the nerve centre of the Hamilton DIY community!  It gave me a chance to catch up, and shall I say, even conspire, with a few friends on future projects.

My dear friend Georgie's mother, who keeps chickens at her Greensville home, was kind enough to drop by with two dozen of the most beautiful eggs I have ever seen.  One of the very special things about Edwina's eggs, besides their flavour and wonderful colour is how she marks each egg in pencil with the date she collected them - so you know which eggs to use first.  Simple brilliance. The blue/green shells of some of the eggs were too beautiful to put on the compost heap, so I have saved them, and begun collecting them in jars. They will keep my small collection of bird's nests company. 

While in Toronto, installing my work at Harbourfront Centre, I visited my favourite lakeside spot.  I used to spend my lunch hours here during my residency in the craft studio.  I love this vantage point of Toronto Island at all times of year, but winter time might be my preferred season, when the shore is at its most quiet.

My last day before returning to London could not have been lovelier (aside from packing anxiety) as my friend Michelle treated me to a lovely walk at the arboretum of Royal Botanical Gardens and through the trails leading to Cootes Paradise.  These trails form part of the Bruce Trail, Canada's oldest and longest footpath, which traces the length of the Niagara Escarpment.

The woods in spring were brimming with life:  redbud trees in bloom, may apples, and trilliums.  We passed by beaver lodges, and this adorable little chipmunk. Sometimes I need a reminder that we in Hamilton are living in the midst of real paradise.

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